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Camp Tip #2 – Bungee Cord Tie Downs

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When the time comes to set up your camp shelter, be it a tent or tarp, there are often many troubles to anticipate.  Dealing with tangled cordage, a stubborn shelter that wants to fall over, or just trying to remember that one knot you learned in Boy Scouts years (and years) ago.  Not to mention the troubles after camp is set up.  Walking around camp at night, you can (as I have) trip over cordage that was meant to hold the ridge line on your tent taut.  Setting your tent up at night is never fun, especially when you have just knocked it over on your way to relieve yourself.

How about when you have a windy night and your tarp or rain fly is getting whipped around? Have you ever had a grommet on your rain shelter rip out on you during a storm?  It is not fun to have to crawl out of your tent wet and cold!

One thing you can do to help simplify the process is to use a common bungee cord instead of rigid cordage.  It’s not the “be all, end all” to your camp problems, but it sure can help a lot. From simplifying issues to camp safety, a bungee cord can save the day.

The bungee cord is a type of cordage that is made up of many elastic bands giving the cord stretch and elasticity.  When used on a camping shelter, it reduces the stress put on eyelets that are on your tents or tarps.  If the wind is blowing, the bungee cord will stretch while still holding the tarp in place.  If you trip over a non-elastic cordage holding your tent to the ground, you are sure to pull the stake from the ground, or trip and land on the ground yourself.  Using a bungee cord as a tie down can reduce the pull on a stake while also reducing the tripping hazard.

Don’t get me wrong, the bungee cord is not going to be the “save all” for every tent set up and camping dilemma.  It has limited use when being applied to the camp set up.  If given the choice of a 550 paracord versus the bungee cord,  I would prefer the paracord to the bungee for all around usability. The bungee cord definitely has its benefits, however,  when setting up tarps, rain flies, canopies, tents and other shelters.

*Editor’s Note: It must be noted that bungee cords can pose a threat for eye injury.  As with all outdoor products and activity, please use caution and good judgement when dealing with these cords. Be safe!

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